Skip to main content

Japan-India cooperation in conflict mitigation will help respond disaster recovery among Asian communities facing conflicts

By Mehul Pandya and Vandana Chauhan*
India and Japan individually and jointly offer a wide range of capabilities to protect Asia from disaster risks. The ongoing visit of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan to Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India for the Indo-Japan Summit offers an opportunity to enhance this leadership.
In India-Japan Joint Statement during the visit of Prime Minister of India to Japan in November 11, 2016 the two Prime Ministers shared their intention to expand dialogue and cooperation in the defence sector, to cover exchange of observers in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) exercises, and exchange and train personnel in key fields of mutual interest.

The statement acknowledged the importance of the World Tsunami Awareness Day to raise awareness, promote better understanding of tsunami risks and develop tools to address tsunami at least in Asia if not beyond. An MoU was also signed between the Government of Gujarat in India and Hyogo Prefectural Government in Japan to promote mutual cooperation between the two in the fields of academics, business, cultural cooperation, disaster management and environmental protection.
Opportunities for leadership in Asia:
  1. India is fast emerging as a key humanitarian donor in Asia. Joint humanitarian response and aid operations with Japan can be even more effective and better targeted in Asia to address the Humanitarian Action with both, immediate response as well as long term resilience building. Key areas for action are cash transfer and area based approach in urban settings from response to recovery phases.
  2. Fulfilling the commitments of Grand Bargain: UNHCR and Japan are co-conveners of Grand Bargain work stream on "Reducing Management Cost". The idea of the work stream is how to spend less on each US $ that goes to the disaster action. India can join the work stream and contribute to make international humanitarian actions more effective, efficient, and coherent based on India’s experience within and outside India as a humanitarian actor. Financial inclusion is one such area. Local procurement is another.
  3. Strengthening sub-regional organizations such as ASEAN, SAARC, (Economic Cooperation Organization) ECO, and The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) in Asia is urgent. It is urgent because of the rapid spread of risk as well as exposure of economic development to risk in the region. India and Japan can jointly orient the actions of these three regional cooperation mechanisms to risk pooling and risk transfer. In addition India and Japan can help Asian countries for example with mountain railway safety enhancement assistance. This will benefit India, Japan, and all the participating countries of Asia. 
  4. Strengthening (Indo-Pacific) trilateral cooperation between India, Japan and Australia is important for Asia. These countries have collaborated in the Tsunami response during 2004. Time has came to build on this success. The first Japan-India-Australia Trilateral Dialogue was held in Delhi, on June 2015. This triologue laid out a way ahead. Time has come for India and Japanese scientists to accelerate the pace and redefine the agenda for this cooperation not only in tsunami but also cyclone and sea level rise risks.
  5. Joint work programme on addressing climate risks in Asia can help achieve goals of Paris Agreement to which Japan and India both are committed. Climate induced extreme events are on a rise. Joint action can help Asia reduce disaster risks coming out of extreme events such as heatwaves, floods, or cyclones. Ongoing research by IDS, UK, Kyoto University, Japan, and Norway University clearly indicate need for more joint work on how India and Japan can inform transformation of Asia to green economy. For example, Japan and India can invest more to fill in infrastructure gap in Asia; finance and share technology with fast growing cities to launch innovative bus rapid transit system; make river basins — Ganga and Mekong to start with — climate resilient; and invest in sustainable agriculture productivity improvement through cooperatives in Vietnam and Combodia.
  6. Joint implementation of Asia Regional Plan (ARP) for Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030. In many ways the ARP is a creation of India and Japan in order to take more concrete measures to reduce risks faced in Asia. At Asian Ministerial Conference, 2016 in Delhi. ARP was launched and accepted by all. Several important implementations steps are taken in various countries beyond India and Japan. This includes Bangladesh, Thailand, and Indonesia, to name a few. India and Japan lead ARP and more systematic and system-wide approach will help Asia lead Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) implementation with greater innovations and better knowledge. Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), for example, is one such network that may be of use.
  7. Peace, security and conflict management in Asia is not easy. Though per se this is not a disaster risk reduction item, often disasters strike in the hotbeds of ongoing conflict areas or fragile social context. India and Japan share long Buddhist tradition and values for building and keeping peace. More work on articulating peace building and conflict mitigation will not only help in responding to floods or cyclones in Asia, but also turn disaster recovery in to peace building effort in Asian communities facing conflict.
  8. Strategic use for space-based technologies for averting natural disasters and their management. ESCAP's Regional Space Applications Programme for Sustainable Development or RESAP is a unique regional cooperation model of the United Nations. India and Japan both have supported RESAP to grow. Through RESAP, space-faring countries such as China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Thailand and Viet Nam offer satellite images, information and capacity development to other countries of Asia on the use of satellite technology for disaster risk reduction. Time has come for India and Japan to take a lead and accelerate cutting edge space technology cooperation with UN ESCAP on and around the SAARC satellite that India has recently launched for the SAARC countries.
India and Japan are on their way to transformation, both, within and beyond. This Second Summit in Ahmedabad offers a special opportunity to accelerate the pace and further target the results of their joint leadership in Asia.

---

*With the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI)

Comments

TRENDING

What's behind public sector banks showing huge profits in 2nd quarter of 2022-23?

By Thomas Franco*  The quarter two results of the public sector banks (PSBs) appear to be noteworthy compared to a few years ago. All these banks showed good profits in the financial year 2021-22. Twelve PSBs made a net profit of Rs 25,685 crore in quarter 2 of FY23 and a total of Rs 40,991 crore in the first half of 2023. The combined profit of 12 banks in March 2022 was Rs 66,539 crore which was 110% more than 2021 – Rs. 31,816 crore. The Asset Quality Review of 2015 saw a surge in NPAs of PSBs jumping to Rs 8.96 lakh crore in March 2018 from Rs 2.17 lakh crore in March 2014. This was simply because the norms for NPAs were changed from 180 days to 90 days, and all restructuring of even genuine accounts was done away with. In 2018 NPA of SBI was 5.73% which has come down to 0.8% in Q2 of FY23. The NPA of Canara Bank has come down to 2.19% from 7.48% in Mar 2018. The same trend is seen in all public banks. Now SBI has seen a jump of 74% in its net profit, while Canara Bank’s profit is

Business back to normal? IIM-A survey says, sales expectations have sharply improved

By Our Representative  The Indian Institute of Management’s Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES), which polls a panel of business leaders to find out their perception of slack in economy, including their inflation expectations, year-ahead cost expectations and the factors influencing price changes, such as profit and sales levels, etc., has said that the cost perceptions data indicates signs of moderation in price pressures. Carried out for September, the survey says, the cost pressure of the reporting firms has shifted from “very significant increase (over 6%) to moderate increase (3.1% to 6%).” It adds, “The percentage of firms perceiving over 10% cost increase y-o-y has declined. Over 21% of the firms in September 2022 round of the survey perceive that costs have increased very significantly (over 10%) – down from 26% recorded in August 2022.” Claiming to be a unique survey, in that it goes straight to businesses -- the price setters -- rather than to consumers or household

Innovative, Hrishikesh Mukherjee's movies often banked on excessive sentimentalism

By Harsh Thakor*  Late Hrishikesh Mukherjee more popularly known as Hrishi Da, whose birth centenary was celebrated recently, ranks amongst India’s most progressive and innovative film makers, exhibiting mastery in craft of making socially relevant themes. Mukherjee knitted plots together with great visualisation and sensitivity, be it in comedy, pathos, anger or romance, weaving every ingredient in proper proportion.  Melodrama was restrained and scripts dissected with surgical skill. Without over romanticisation, Mukherjee would do complete justice to the role of the character. He did not champion art films, but gave commercial films an artistic touch. Rarely have artists transcended the medium of cinema to project the real essence of their cultural values so or film directors who narrate a simple tale of regular families that have characters of unique shades, characters which are bound to touch human emotions universally. His characters frequently underwent life-changing journeys

GoI's productivity linked incentives to corporates 'without independent analysis'

Counterview Desk  Wondering how prudent is the Government of India's (GoI's) Productivity Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, EAS Sarma, former secretary, GoI, in a representation to Nirmala Sitharaman, Union finance minister, has said it appears to be nothing more than subsidy to the private sector without any responsibility. Giving a specific example against the backdrop of announcement of 50% subsidy covering the project cost of the Vedanta Group's decision to set up a semiconductor fabrication plant in Gujarat, in collaboration with Foxconn, Sarma says, "The total cost of this project is reported to be Rs 1,54,000 crore. 50% of this works out to Rs 77,000 crore." Stating that this creates the impression that the entire subsidy allocation for the semiconductor manufacturing sector would be appropriated by this company, Sarma says, "The Gujarat government did not lag behind in liberally announcing similar incentives for the Vedanta-Foxconn project. It offered 7

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

There aren't any hard data to prove forced conversion, why move for a Central law?

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  Srinivasan Jain, the popular TV anchor with NDTV, has done a tremendous service to the Constitution of India and, thereby, to the people of India! In a hard-hitting exposé on his weekly segment ‘Truth vs Hype’, released on 19 November, Jain talks about the so-called ‘Forced Conversions’ with incontrovertible facts and the falsehoods and myths that are built around the issue!   A good part of his expose is an interview with Ashwin Kumar Upadhyay, the petitioner in the current case on ‘forced conversions’ in the Supreme Court. Jain directly takes on Upadhyay and the 65-page petition submitted by the latter to the Supreme Court. Jain emphatically states that not a single example cited by Upadhyay in the petition comes under the ambit of ‘forced conversion’.  In fact, Jain proves that one of the examples is completely fake! Upadhyay, however, continues with his rant without being able to authenticate or substantiate or furnish a single bit of evidence to prove his

Diminishing returns: Hydro projects contribute less than 10% of India's power generation

Counterview Desk  Pointing out that India’s hydro generation remains around 10% for the last six years, the advocacy group South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP) has said that power generation from hydropower projects continues to show diminishing returns, as has been the story close to three decades now. Yet, says SANDRP in a note, the Government of India continues to push large hydro by announcing a slew of additional subsidies for hydropower projects, more for political economy reason. In fact, attempts are being made to flog unviable hydropower projects with various kind of manipulations, illegalities and violations, it adds. Text : In last six years, from 2016-17 to 2021-22, India’s large hydropower projects (projects above 25 MW installed capacity) have contributed just around 10% of the total power generation, going as low as 9.68% in 2017-18. In fact, in three of these six years, large hydro contributed less than 10% and recovering only marginally in the rest,

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.